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UTS Library: Effective Research Assignments

UTS Course Reserves Spring 2018

Contact us!

  • Are you worried that your students are experiencing problems locating information from reliable sources?
  • Would you like your students to know what kinds of library resources they have access to for their research topics?
  • Do you want your students to understand how to evaluate the credibility of sources?

If so, the librarians at UTS are ready to help you. We are available to work with you to create effective research assignments that integrate library resources into your course content. These assignments can foster critical thinking and promote information literacy for lifelong learning. 

To schedule an appointment, please call us:

(212) 563 6646 ext. 106

Or email us:

Here are some suggestions:

  • Before the new semester starts, make an appointment with a librarian.  We can work with you as you are developing your syllabi and assignments.  We will help you identify appropriate library resources, and let you know if the assignment is feasible given our collection strengths and weaknesses.
  • Request a Library Instruction Session to have a librarian demonstrate to your students how to use the library databases, build search strategies and evaluate sources. Please give us at least one week notice to prepare for your class.
  • Provide copies of your class assignments to us so that we are better prepared to assist your students when they need help.
  • If you limit the number of web sources students can use, please make sure your students understand the differences between web sites located via search engines (such as Google) and the information retrieved from our online library databases. The latter carries the same content, thus the authority, as the journals and books published\ in print.  Some information, such as the extensive newspaper collections available via Factiva, is only available online.
  • Consider putting required reading on reserve to ensure that all students will have access to it.
  • Encourage your students to visit the library early in their research.

Some common problems to avoid:

  • Waiting until a couple of days before the class to ask for a library instruction session. Your librarian may not have adequate time to prepare, and the appropriate resources and computer classroom space may not be available.
  • Asking everyone in the class to work on the same topic.  This may stretch the library resources too thin, especially when printed materials are involved.
  • Requiring students to use resources the library does not own or cannot obtain within a reasonable time frame. Consult a librarian to make sure we have the resources for your assignment.
  • Setting unreasonable requirements for types of sources to be used.  Not all topics are covered in every type of resource.  You can encourage a variety of sources, but be flexible!
  • Bringing an entire class to the library without notifying the librarian.  The library has a limited number of computers available for student use.  To make sure your students have access to the resources and services they need, please contact us in advance so that we can make arrangements for your class.
Unification Theological Seminary
Barrytown Campus
30 Seminary Drive, Barrytown, NY 12507
NYC Campus
4 W 43rd St., New York, NY 10036Unification Theological Seminary __________ Barrytown Campus 30 Seminary Drive, Barrytown, NY 12507 __________ NYC Campus 4 W 43rd St., New York, NY 10036